Inspiring Interview | featuring GlamourKids Fotografie

Our Inspiring Photographer Interview for this week features Willie Kers of GlamourKidz Fotografie. Willie is one of our very own talented LSI Pro Members. You can follow more of her inspiring work on her blog and Facebook. Please meet Willie…

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A Few Words From Willie

My name is Willie Kers and i’m a photographer and mentor based in Apeldoorn, The Netherlands. I’m a mom of 4 and married to my best friend. My inspiration comes from the simple things in life; riding on bikes with my family, the smell of freshly baked bread or freshly mown grass, making music, enjoying a beautiful sunset, and of course, the spontaneous laughter of a child! I get intensely happy with light. Beautiful light to capture precious memories with my camera. Capturing life as it is… Life as we live it!

If there was one thing you would want us to know about you, what would it be?

For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be 3 things: a photographer, a teacher and Peter Pan! And when I look back, I’ve became what I wanted to be! I’m a photographer, and a teacher. I love to inspire people, especially photographers and bring out the best of themselves. I teach photography lessons on a daily basis and I love it! And last but not least: I became Peter Pan! To me Peter Pan was always my hero because he had the ability to stay a child, to fly and to do what ever he likes! And that’s exactly what I do.  I’m still a child at heart, I fly anywhere I want, driven by my curiosity for life and people. I have captured this in my photography. And since I have my own business, I can do whatever I like! Throughout the years, I’ve learned that the only one who can make you really happy, is yourself! When I’m happy, my family is happy! I’m blessed with a beautiful family and they are my inspiration. And to speak in terms of Peter Pan, they are my wings to fly!

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Studio, on location or both?

Location! I had a studio several years ago but I became so unhappy with it. It blocked totally my creativity so I decided to give my studio up and go back to my roots!  Location…because to me that’s where the magic happens! Best decision ever!

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Natural light, studio light or both? Preference?

Natural light! I’ve tried and studied every lighting technique there is. Studio, strobes, off camera flash, natural light… And I’m glad I did this because it really opened up my eyes to see that I’m most happy shooting with natural light. But if needed, I can always grab back to my experience with flash.

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Share with us your all time favorite image and why.

Oh my, this is a hard one! I have so many faves! And all for a different reason! But if I have to pick one at this moment, it is the one of my youngest daughter, cuddling her favorite toy, Mr. Monkey. This is so typically her after a long day of school, playing, dancing, singing…she crawls back in her own space with Mr. Monkey and that’s the point that she’s ready to go to bed after a long energetic day.

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What inspired you to be a photographer?

Film.. When I was young I was intrigued by the way that I was able to capture moments and freeze them forever with a camera and developing them! Ever since I got my first camera from my grand dad, I was sold. I think I was about 7 years old.

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Would you consider yourself a hobbyist or a paid professional?

I’m a paid professional.

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Is photography your full time career?

Yes, it is.

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What type of session do you look forward to the most vs what type of session you most often do?

I’m obsessed with light, especially the light at the end or beginning of the day: The golden hour! And I look always forward to a Golden hour session, which I mostly do.

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On average, how many sessions do you have per month?

At this moment, I don’t do any client sessions because I’m too busy teaching photography. And I love it. I now have time to shoot more of my life and what really inspire me. And that makes me really creative.

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What has been your most memorable session and why?

Every session is memorable. I still an recall all the sessions and clients that stepped in front of my camera. I believe that everyone has something unique about them. But if I had to choose, I guess my first paid session. It was a session of a senior who wanted some portraits. I couldn’t believe that there was someone who was willing to pay for my work! And I was so very nervous! I remember that I even had to throw up before the session. I was so afraid that she wouldn’t like my images. I still felt sick after the session because I had no clue how to edit the images in PS or LR! Luckily everything went well and she was overall very happy with the images!

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What has been the best source of information along your photography journey?

The great masters like Vincent van Gogh, Johannes Vermeer, Rembrandt, Frans Hals. I can spend hours in a museum looking at their paintings and their use of light! And of course Youtube, Google and Wikipedia! 😉 In my younger days, the library since there was no internet back then. I still spend a lot of time in the library to cut out the noise of the internet and Facebook!

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What has been the biggest source of inspiration in your work?

I don’t have one source of inspiration. There are many photographers I admire. But more because of their vision. If someone has a clear vision, it really inspires me!

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Nikon or Canon? Favorite lens?

Canon. Oh my, can I name two favorite lenses? It would be my 85L. It’s amazing for portraits and that bokeh is so, so yummy. Especially at 1.2! And my tilt shift 45mm 2.8. I like to manual focus because it give me the feel of controlling every part of the image I capture. This lens really makes me creative. If I had to choose to stick with one lens from now on, it would be the tilt shift!

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How would you define your post processing style?

In color, clean and colorful. In black and white, Moody and dark.

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What is one piece of advice you would like to offer a new photographer looking to start their own business?

Keep focused on your own vision and stay true to your own voice! Don’t let your client rule your session. It’s your work, your art and your creativity! And don’t get soaked up in your business. If you have a family, spend a lot of time with them. Because they are your true inspiration! Don’t let them become your irritation because you have a lot of editing to do!

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What is your favorite and least favorite part of owning your own photography business?

My favorite part is photographing! The moment that I’m really capturing life! That’s the reason why I gave up wedding photography. I really liked to shoot the wedding day but to edit 250 photos afterwards, was something that I really didn’t like! I’m a photographer, not a graphic designer. The least favorite part is doing the administration and the promotion of my business on Facebook. It blocks my creativity. So I hired someone to do my administration for me so I can focus completely on what I love the most: photography.

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Who is the most inspirational photographer in your life?

Sally Mann. Although it’s not my style of shooting. But I can spend hours just looking at her images. What inspires me about her work is the way it makes me feel. Like I am there at the moment when she’s taking the image. And I want to know more about her subjects and her. What was she thinking, why did she choose to capture that particulair image. And of course because it’s all shot on film!

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And finally, please briefly describe your photography style for our readers.

I guess it’s fine art portraiture. I really need a face in my images. A face with eyes that speaks to the soul.
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A Few Fun Questions:
Favorite TV show? Do I really need to answer this? I’m a bit ashamed to tell but it’s Spongebob Squarepants!
Favorite movie? Harry Potter
Favorite musician/band? Tedeschi/Trucksband
What is your favorite food? A slice of freshly baked white bread with peanut butter.
What is your favorite beverage? A strong cup of coffee! Can’t do without it!
Your favorite item of clothing? My yoga pants.
Your go-to pair of shoes? Sneakers.
What is one word you catch yourself saying too often? hahaha, well that’s definitely: Duh!